Mountain biking is a great way of getting out of your everyday routine. Make sure you have everything in place before you start touring on your mountain bike.
Mountain bikes are suitable for road-touring? Mountain bikes are perfect for touring. Mountain bikes are strong and can handle rough roads well. It’s also less likely to have a flat tire. Although it takes a little more effort to pedal, you can still make long-distance trips on a mountain bike with the right tires and handlebar.
If you plan to ride a mountain bike, there are some things you should keep in mind. These are some tips to make the most of your mountain bike tour.
An MTB for Touring: The Benefits
Mountain bikes are great for long-distance riding. Best mountain bikes are more upright than road bikes.
A hardtail is a bike with a single suspension at the front. It will frustrate me to ride with a full suspension (back, front). If you intend to ride long distances, don’t use full suspension.
Although the flat handlebars provide a comfortable and stable riding experience, your hand position is limited. It can be uncomfortable if you ride for several hours, but there are ways to adjust your hand position. This will be covered later.
Flat handlebars are great for climbing, especially if you’re going up hills. You can climb faster on a 26″ mountain bike than you would with a 29er.
The 29er has become the standard, but the 27.5″ is slowly catching up. Although you will need to paddle harder to reach speed, 29ers can be great for longer distances.
I rode 26-inch mountain bikes and didn’t feel the need to buy anything larger until it was time for an upgrade. It makes a big difference in speed and distance. I would not trade it for anything bigger, but I still love the way my smaller MTB handles on trails.
A mountain bike is not the best choice for touring. While many of these problems can be fixed with a few minor adjustments, others are more difficult because MTBs aren’t made for touring.
MTBs are designed for touring and roads, but there are also MTBs that can be used to transport people.
Saddle pain is real. It can be unbearable when you ride for more than 10 hours. Before you go on an extended ride, make sure you have ridden as much as you can to get used to your saddle. It is important to become comfortable with a saddle. This will help you avoid frustration and pain. To avoid friction, wear seamless pants. It will hurt very quickly!
These mudguards don’t come with them so make sure you have a pair of long, reusable mudguards. I don’t like getting mud in my mouth. I can feel the sands between each of my teeth for hours.
Long flat rides may be affected by the suspension. They are designed to absorb shocks from bumps, rocks, and tree roots and reduce impacts on rough terrain. Modern suspension forks come with a lockout that disables the suspension.
The suspension’s ability to move up or down depends on your weight. Although it’s not a major drawback, a stiffer fork will be more comfortable on flat roads. It can be replaced with a stiffer one, but you should check with your local bike shop to make sure it fits.
Handlebars: Butterfly and Try.
Butterfly bars are a great option. They allow you to adjust your position if you feel uncomfortable leaning on them or feel a little pain in your wrists. You can also lean a little more forward when climbing uphill. They are perfect for trips between 300 and 500 miles.
Aerobats and try bars are also options, but they’re very rare. They are often seen on road bikes, but they can also be mounted on mountain bikes. Some mountain bikes can’t carry them, so be sure to keep it out of the way of cables. You still need to be capable of the brake.
These bars are aerodynamic, but they allow you to move around. It’s not something you should be concerned about if you’re not doing a speed test. There have been people who ride mountain bikes with try bars. It should be possible to find one that suits your mountain bike. However, I would still recommend butterfly bars.
You can fit a different handlebar to your bike if it isn’t compatible. This will allow you to ride more comfortably over long distances. A regular MTB handlebar was fine for me on trips of 3 hours or more.
To change my position, I can either lean forward on the handlebar or hold them from below (thumbs up, pointing outwards), for a few seconds.
Eliminate Knobby Tires
For long distances, knobby tires can be great for rough trails but not for those on steep terrain. It’s going to be difficult to ride if you don’t replace them. Maintaining speed takes effort.
This isn’t an issue for the first hour, but it can become frustrating and you need to pedal hard to continue.
Choose tires with a smooth profile. These tires allow you to keep your speed up and require less pedaling. If you ride for more than three hours, the tires can be very slippery on roads. Continental Travel Contact tires are my recommendation. These tires have a smooth profile, but they also know how to grip on the outside.
Racks, Bags, and Panniers
If you intend to bring a lot of stuff along, most hardtail mountain bikes have racks and bags. Some people love to take their bikes on vacation and bring everything they need.
It might seem difficult to install racks depending on how tall you are, but your local bike shop will be able to help. Parts such as disc brakes can be a problem, but your LBS will advise you on what parts to purchase. It is possible to do it yourself, but it all depends on several factors. You can make it very simple or quite difficult.
If your hitch bike rack is available, ensure that the wheel can carry the load. Although your rear wheel may be suitable for road riding, the additional weight could cause it to collapse as soon as you hit bumps.
A good rear hub is essential. If your wheel is older, get it checked before you go. You might also want to check for small panniers that will fit onto your front wheel. You can practice your riding skills before you go and test how they affect your handling.
It’s a rule of thumb that if you don’t have enough front and rear panniers, then you are carrying too many!
A handlebar bag is a good option if you are only packing light. Do not put too much stuff in it. It will make it difficult to make last-minute adjustments.
A bike trailer is an option if a rack is not enough. These are great for long trips but can only hold a lot of luggage.
Mountain Bike Tire Pressures for Road Touring
Mountain bikers prefer to use tires that have less pressure in order to improve traction on tracks and trails. Your trip will be smoother if you increase the pressure. You want to pedal as fast and smoothly as possible on roads.
Spare parts and repair kits
You should always have at least one spare tube and a repair kit. Long trips will require the use of repair kits. Flat tires are not uncommon. A nail or small piece of glass can cause damage if they are hit at the wrong angle.
If a tear is too large to repair, it might be necessary to replace the tube. An extra inner tube is lightweight and can save you time walking. You want your trip to be enjoyable, not miserable.
Make sure you are able to fix a flat tire or change a tube. If you do it correctly, it’s not difficult and shouldn’t take too much time. It’s easy to remove and add the tire using only your hands.
Other Things to Take Along
You don’t need me to say this, but make sure you have some food. You can eat nutrition bars and energy gels to replenish your energy, or proper food if the ride is very long.
Tips for short tours
If you are going on a tour lasting 4-5 hours, then you won’t need to pack much. You will only need a repair kit, a spare tube, and a pump to inflate it.
Make sure you have your phone with you and cash. Let someone know that you took a ride, and where.
Tips for extended touring (like days).
You should plan ahead if you plan on taking your mountain bike along on vacation. Also, ensure you have enough food and water to last. Although this may seem a bit extreme, it is important to consider what would happen if you are in the middle of nowhere. You must ensure that you survive without cell coverage or contact with others.
Make sure to bring plenty of water, and your GPS. If your phone doesn’t have enough battery life, you can also take a power bank. You can charge your phone with many different methods, but depending on how long and far you are traveling, a dedicated GPS device might be the best option.
Show your relatives where you are going and plan your trip in advance. Keep them updated on whereabouts. FiendMyFriend and other apps can show you your location (and WhatsApp).
In case your phone dies, keep a list of contact information somewhere (on paper). In case you need to hail a taxi, bring your credit card and some cash. Just in case, get a cheap compass or a paper map.
To shelter from the rain, bring a tent and a mattress made of foam rubber. A small stove, such as the one backpackers use, can be a great option to warm your spirit.
These are the essentials. Make sure to check out expert sites and post questions on Reddit and forums. I’m certain I have forgotten a lot of important points.
You can also read this article: secret of fitness trainers don’t want you to know.
Let’s sum it all
Mountain bikes are great for long-distance traveling. Mountain bikes are sturdy, durable, and can withstand a beating. Although it may take more effort than a road bike, a few small changes can make a huge difference.
You should plan ahead to avoid any accidents or damage. Take rations and tools to fix your bike if you are going out for a while.
Planning for longer trips requires more planning. Be safe and prepared. You will need water, food, GPS, and a phone with enough batteries to last for at least half a day. When planning your route, make sure you have enough power to charge your phone.
Do not replace knobby tires with slicker profiles. Before you take your bike out, inspect it and ensure that all parts are in good order. If you plan on riding for several days, consider having your bike checked by your local bicycle shop. It’s better to be safe than sorry.